Rv Camping Guide To Moraine Hills State Park
Need a weekend getaway? Consider an RV camping trip to Moraine Hills State Park in beautiful Illinois. We have your complete RV camping guide of everything you need to know before you go.
With summertime here, this is the perfect opportunity for a quick getaway away from the city and reconnect with nature while recharging your battery. Just 90 minutes northwest of Chicago you will find gorgeous Moraine Hills State Park. It is located just next to McHenry Dam State Park providing ample opportunity to take in multiple sights along the way.
From hiking, biking, fishing, and birding, Moraine Hills State Park is known as a recreational paradise. With more than 2,200 acres of wetlands and lakes, there is a diverse set of nature habitats to enjoy along its ten plus miles of trails. With McHenry State Park and Dam next door, the Fox River attracts many birders, photographers, and anglers alike. Check out this RV camping guide to learn everything you need to know before you visit.
Rv Rental For Moraine Hills State Park
If you are looking for a fun and easy way to enjoy a quick getaway to this historic natural wonder, check out our fleet of RV Rentals. Our RV lineup is perfect for any budget and loaded with the necessities and conveniences you look for to make your journey as fun as the destination.
Reserve a Moraine Hills State Park RV rental today.
What To Do At Moraine View State Recreation Area: A Short Drive From Champaign
Were on a mission to find any space nearby where we can get some sort of a water fix which leads us to Moraine View State Recreation Area in LeRoy, Illinois, just 35-40 minutes away from Champaign-Urbana.
If we had to rate Dawson Lake in size, it would certainly rank larger than Lake of the Woods or Homer Lake, but smaller than Clinton Lake, one of the more well known lakes near Champaign-Urbana or Lake Shelbyville, which is a bit further away.
The big draw here is the water, but well be sure to cover everything you want to know before you drive out to LeRoy. And well cover what sets this water spot apart from the other ones mentioned above.
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Wisconsin State Park System
Have you ever wanted to try a new activity, but didn’t have the equipment to get started? Wisconsin state parks and forests have partnered with private concessionaires and Friends groups to offer rental equipment at some properties.
For more information on accessible/adaptive rental equipment in the state park system, please see: Adaptive equipment.
Take A Trip Around Lake Arthur On Prestons Pearl
Disclaimer: We were hosted for this experience. Our site uses demographic data, email opt-ins, display advertising, and affiliate links. Please check out our Terms and Conditions. Pricing, operating hours, or menus may have changed since our initial visit and may not be reflected in subsequent updates. Please confirm these directly with any business or attraction prior to visiting.
Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park is one of our favorite outdoor spots in southwest Pennsylvania. It is hard to ask for more than a beautiful lake with a number of fingers and inlets that just beg being explored.
We’ve featured many ways you can explore the lake including taking out kayaks from Bear Run Campground, standup paddleboarding with SurfSUP Adventures, and even enjoying Moraine State Park’s bike trail which runs along the shoreline. But all of these activities required some degree of effort in order to enjoy. For something a bit more leisurely, the park offers boat tours on the resident pontoon boat from late spring to early fall.
For many years, guests would enjoy the waters via the resident boat Nautical Nature, but in 2021 the Moraine Preservation Fund launched a new pontoon boat that offers 90-minute sightseeing tours, dinner/brunch cruises, and more.
I was fortunate enough to get out on the water for the ship’s inaugural sailing as part of a media preview and share more about what you can expect on this one here!
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Biking And Hiking Trails
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Both hikers and bikers will enjoy the many hiking and bike trails the park has to offer. The park does bike rentals, making it an excellent place for dabblers who don’t have their own set of wheels yet.
Bike rentals and trails are limited to the park’s north shore. As for hikers, here’s a list of some of the most popular trails Moraine has:
- Sunken Garden Trail: This is one of the most accessible trails in the park. Its head is located near the Pleasant Valley Road parking lot.
- Five Points Trail: Located on the north shore, you can find the starting point of this trail at Lakeview Beach. It’s only a little over a mile and considered a mild to moderate trek.
- Glacier Ridge Trail: At nearly 15 miles, this is the park’s most challenging trail. It leads from Lake Arthur to the Jennings Center mentioned above.
Best Moraine Hills State Park Rv Parks And Campgrounds
Our handpicked list below gives you some of the best Moraine State Park RV park locations to choose for your next visit.
Fox Den Campground
Located at the Chain O Lakes State Park, you can expand your weekend getaway by experiencing the vast natural area in this part of Illinois. This campground offers 151 sites for both tent sites and standard RV sites. For campers, you will have access to trash, phone service, showers, electric hookups, picnic tables, drinking water, toilets, and fires. For your RVs, there is a sanitary dump station.
More Information:Address: 8068 State Park Rd, Spring Grove, IL 60081
Fox River Recreation
This campground is located just 60 miles north of Chicago on 25 acres of beautiful wooded country on the scenic shores of Fox River. With easy access to various recreational opportunities to include fishing, canoeing, boating, sports, and more, this is the perfect spot to camp and elevate your outdoor experience. Amenities include a camp store, game room, playground, showers and laundry, dump station, and seasonal boat docks.
More Information:Address: 27884 W. Route 173, Antioch, IL 60002Phone: 395-6090
Fish Lake Beach Camping Resort
More Information:Address: 32223 N. US Highway 12, Volo, IL 60073Phone: 546-2228
More Information:Address: 1801 N. Quentin Rd, Palatine, IL 60074Phone: YES-CAMP
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Moraine State Park Camping
Moraine State Park – Photo by Auntie P from Flickr
Camping becomes the one activity that you should do if you are a hitchhiker and backpacker. In Moraine State Park, you can build your rental or your own tent at The North Country National Scenic Trail shelter off of Link Road, as a first base or the start line before you go hiking.
Camping is also available at nearby private campgrounds, including Bear Run Campground & Cooper’s Lake Campground. Do not worry, there is a lot of source of water that you can find not too far from the camp area.
If you are still confused to find the locations or if you want some additional information on campgrounds, the information you need is available at the park office.
Kettle Moraine State Park
If you’re here because you’re looking for “Kettle” Moraine State Park, we’re sorry to tell you that’s a state forest located in Wisconsin. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though. A lot of people make this mistake.
What’s your favorite thing to do at Moraine State Park? Let us know what wets your whistle on our !
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Grab A Bite Rent A Boat Or Cool Off At Moraine View Restaurant & Kayak Rental
Must Know Info: The concession area is open daily. If youre visiting outside of Memorial Day to Labor Day, we recommend calling them at 866-724-6398 to confirm they are open first. Hours vary daily and seasonally, so check out their website here. The restaurant was really nice and they took good care of us. Everything is in the same building, whether youre renting a boat, ordering food or grabbing bait to go fishing with.
The food got two thumbs up from our kids. The grown-ups loved their huge spring rolls and the kids thought the milkshakes were amazing . We could have just eaten tons of fries and been happy, too! Eat inside in the air conditioning or relax outside on their porch overlooking the beautiful lake and boat docks. They also serve beer and wine.
Moraine State Park: All Things To Know Before Visiting This Wonderful Moraine Park In Pennsylvania
Tripboba.com – Moraine State Park is a beautiful place in Pennsylvania that offers so many wonderful things for its visitors. It is not a surprise if this park has ever been served as the location of the 1973 and 1977 National Scout Jamborees.
As one of the 121 state parks in Pennsylvania, United States, Moraine State Park has a lot of visitors who have a deep desire to feel the good breeze blowing the trees in the summer and to ski on the freezing Lake Arthur.
Besides, this fantastic park is open for all seasons. So, visitors can come to Moraine State Park anytime they want. Do you want to know more about this park? Check this guide out!
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Moraine State Park Cabins
Moraine State Park – Photo by Antony Wilkins from Flickr
If you are not a hitchhiker or backpacker, you do not have to worry about the struggle to build your tent or be uncomfortable with bugs or the darkness. Instead, you can rent a warm and cozy cabin with good facilities, as all the modern home has.
Cabins are also used all-year-round and when winter is coming. Year-round, there are eleven modern cabins for you to be rented if you want.
In winter, you are just allowed to rent a cabin or trailers as a place to stay if you want to stay longer to enjoy skiing, fishing, or snowshoeing. What’s more, all the cabins are provided with ADA accessibility!
Moraine Hills State Park Facts
This state park is located in McHenry County, Illinois and is composed of McHenry Dam that was constructed in 1907. The dam was later donated to the state in 1924 and a new dam built in 1934. What started as 15 acres of land on the east bank of the river, McHenry Dam State Park was founded in 1939. Later on, property on the west bank of the river was donated to the state Division of Water Resources in the 1960s and the state acquired additional land surrounding Lake Defiance in 1971. By 1975, park facilities were constructed and the park was renamed Moraine Hills State Park. Here are some interesting Moraine State Park facts to know before you visit.
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Hiking At Moraine State Park
Moraine State Park features 71 miles of hiking trails.
The Glacier Ridge Trail is one of my favorite trails at Moraine State Park.
If you choose to hike this trail, youll be following in the footsteps of a young George Washington, who passed through present day Moraine State Park in December 1753.
The Glacier Ridge Trail is even believed to have been a pathway for mastodons that inhabited Pennsylvania thousands of years ago!
Moraine State Park Boat Rental
Moraine State Park – Photo by Rona Proudfoot from Flickr
For water recreation as sailing, kayaking, canoeing, or shipping, of course, you need a boat to do that. Visitors are allowed to bring their own boat with hp motors more than 20. Or, you can rent a boat that can fulfill your need if you do not have one.
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A Leisurely Tour Of Lake Arthur On Preston’s Pearl
Preston’s Pearl is named after the late Dr. Frank W. Preston whose conservation work led to the formation of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. This group bought the land which Moraine State Park sits on, rehabilitated it, and dammed Muddy Creek to form what we now know as Lake Arthur.
To call him the father of Moraine State Park is an understatement and guests can enjoy the culmination of the conservancy’s work with the tour around Preston’s Pearl.
To start, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the boat itself. This pontoon boat is technically a houseboat that has been stripped of all of its features and made to be a sightseeing vessel inside and out. The lower deck is enclosed with seating for guests and the upper deck is open for those who want to take Lake Arthur’s beauty in without obstruction.
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One of my very first questions about touring Lake Arthur on Preston’s Pearl had to do with the boat itself, as the lake has a limited motor horsepower requirement for vessels. My first instinct would be that a ship of this size would simply be far too slow, but as it turns out they received a special exemption to run the tours and operate the ship in such a way that it just glides on the water as efficiently as possible all the same.
All this comes together to say that you are in for one smooth ride on the water when exploring Lake Arthur on Preston’s Pearl.
Other Attractions And Activities
During the warmer months, visitors can look forward to a range of activities, including but not limited to disc golf, hunting, and horseback riding. And those interested in a bit of bird watching will be happy to hear that park sites like Muddy Creek and Bear Run are excellent spots to view osprey that have been reintroduced to the area thanks to conservancy efforts.
Since the park is open year-round, it’s also an excellent destination for Winter weather sports like sledding, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing.
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Take A Hike Or Go For A Swing
Must Know Info: Moraine View was made for exploration! We love the trails there, and how they weave around with the lake in close proximity much of the time. It provides a great backdrop to your swinging/picnicking/hiking visit. Theres no admission fee just to come out and play at Moraine View so you can drive out to explore what is available for YOUR family there and enjoy the scenery in the process.
There are many hiking paths that are very kid friendly and playgrounds just along the lake. We really liked how some of the trails were marked as handicapped accessible, as we know that strollers would navigate those paths along with anyone who has mobility special needs or challenges.
Exploring Moraine State Park In Butler County
Moraine State Park is a 16,725-acre recreational area located about an hour north of Pittsburgh in Butler County.
Moraine State Park is named for its hilly deposits of gravel, sand and clay that were deposited at the end of the last glacial period .
The centerpiece of Moraine State Park is 3,225 acre Lake Arthur, a man-made version of an even larger glacial lake that once existed in this same area thousands of years ago.
Lake Arthur features 42 miles of shoreline, as well as numerous boat launches, fishing jetties, and swimming areas.
Lake Arthur was even cast in a feature film, used to portray the Hudson River in The Pale Blue Eye starring Christian Bale.
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Moraine View State Park
Paul Chamberlain – Photo by Paul Chamberlain from Flickr
Moraine State Park, like its name, is formed by the glacial moraines from the last Ice Age that covered all the land. And when the glacial is disappeared, all you can find are gravel, sand, and clay in the form of hills. Not only rocks and sand, but the melted glacial also formed a big river, namely Muddy Creek.
This river runs for 23.2 miles long, flows toward the west, and 58.2 square miles in the area for its watershed. One of the main features of Moraine State Park is its lake. With its 158-acre lake, this lake is surprisingly made by humans and not by the glacial. Its name is Lake Arthur.
Thanks to nature, this state park has some valuable spots that have been successfully developed into good facilities for a recreation area with 1,687-acre Moraine View State Area. Some recreations, like picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, horseback riding, and hunting can be enjoyed when you enter Moraine State Park.
Moraine State Park is also a good place to do relaxation after being trapped in crowded cities. Here, you can take a deep breath without pollution to be worried about.
Things To Do In Moraine Hills State Park
With 2,200 acres of recreational paradise, there are various activities to participate in apart from the diverse habitat and abundant plants and wildlife. Many people boost about the trails and rivers to experience along the river. Here is a look at the most popular things to do it Moraine State Park.
Moraine Hills gets its name for the geological formation known as a moraine. This accumulation of boulders and stones make this place a perfect wonder to experience with its gravel rich deposits called kames that form the many parks wooded hills and ridges.
With a wide spectrum of wildlife, Moraine State Park is home to the red fox, coyote, white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail, mink, opossum, and raccoon, along with more than 200 species of birds. From the great blue herons and green herons that feed in the marsh areas and the park heavily migratory waterfowl, you may also catch a look at the mallards, teal, wood ducks, and Canadian geese along the way.
Fishing is available at both Lake Defiance and along Fox River. To preserve the natural state and dangerous peat shoreline of Lake Defiance, bank fishing is prohibited except at designated piers along the boardwalk. The McHenry Dam provides access to Fox River with accessible fishing pier.
Shotgun deer hunting is available on the 1,400 acres northeast of River Road. Hunting is allowed by permit only.
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